BOOK BLAST: “Yours, Forever After” by Beth Bolden

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Yours, Forever After

Author: Beth Bolden

Cover Artist: Sarah Jo Chreene

Genre/s: MM fairytale/fantasy

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers, forced proximity

Themes: Expectations versus possibilities, good versus evil, subverting expectations

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Word Count: 95 000 words

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Blurb

Fifteen years ago, Prince Graham of Ardglass barely escaped from the ancestral castle with his young life. Rescued by a magical creature and spirited off to a faraway valley, he grew into a strong, capable man—never shirking his duties on the farm, but forever bitter over his father’s betrayal. But just when he has finally come to terms with being lost and staying lost, a visitor arrives in his valley and changes everything.

After a lifetime spent lost in his beloved books, Prince Emory awakens to find his villainous aunt working to usurp the throne of Fontaine. When she sends him on a dangerous quest, he’s certain the journey is a trap, but he’s not willing to accept defeat without a fight.

But a fight is something Rory is unprepared and untrained for, until he’s saved by a handsome, unassuming farmhand and his snooty, smug, and surprisingly talkative unicorn.

Excerpt

“Hey, watch yourself,” a voice said, and Rory looked, and then kept looking as a very tall man, shirtless, his face and muscular chest smeared with dirt, rose from the middle of a patch of squash.

Marthe was instantly by his side, sword out of her belt, but the man simply looked at her, expression blank and bored. He spread his empty hands in front of him. “If you’re hungry,” he said, “take what you like. If you are lost, you may stay.”

The man’s hair was long and dark, nearly shaggy, but did not obscure the bright blue eyes that gazed out at him. A bead of sweat trickled down his bare and undeniably dirty pectoral muscle. Rory swallowed hard. He had never met anyone like this man before—someone rough and uncouth and utterly, completely compelling. Rory felt his blood sizzle, like a drop of water on a stove that had been stoked with firewood all day. He stared, mesmerized, by the man. Was he a bandit? He certainly did not seem like one, if his offer of food and shelter was any indication.

“Sir,” Rory said, trying to find his voice under Marthe’s accusing stare, “we are in search of some dangerous criminals who have been looting the supply wagons from Fontaine.”

The man gave him a disbelieving look. “Does it look like we’re harboring bandits here?”

Truthfully, it did not. It looked to Rory that all the man was harboring was an excellent crop of vegetables. As well as a physique that made Rory desperate to reach out and place a palm on that firm chest, even though it was smeared with dirt and sweat. Somehow, that made it even more attractive, though Rory did not think that thought could possibly be logical.

But Marthe was clearly not as distracted by such a fine chest as Rory was. Her glare was still fierce. “You will not mind if I do not take your word for it,” she said. “I would like to search the grounds and buildings of your farm.”

The man threw his head back and laughed. Rory did not know what was so amusing, but he discovered that he was desperate to know.

“There is nothing here but my farming implements, the animals I keep here, and the store of food to last us through the winter,” he admitted. “But feel free to search all you like.”

“Do you have any weapons here?” Marthe asked, her hard voice making it clear she did not believe the act. If it was even an act. Rory was strangely inclined to believe his words, but that might have been because of his beautiful eyes.

“A dagger or two,” the man said, leaning against his shovel. “We have no need of weapons here.”

Marthe sniffed. “We will be the judge of that.” After throwing Rory another reprimanding look, she marched away, clearly intending to find the rest of the guard and do a thorough search of the farm. Rory thought she must not have thought the man was a threat, or else she never would’ve left him alone.

The man stared at Rory, who stared back. “Do you always travel with a full complement of lady warriors?” he asked offhandedly.

Rory blushed. It was impossible to admit to this man, who looked eminently capable of dispatching any threat, weapons or no, that Rory had to, because he could not defend himself. “It was very rude of me not to introduce myself,” Rory said, extending a hand, “I am Prince Emory of the kingdom of Fontaine, but you may call me Rory.”

It was as if his words changed everything. The man’s eyes went blank, his face cold and hard, and he turned away, leaving Rory awkwardly standing with his hand out. “Gray,” he said shortly. “Welcome to the valley.”

One of the reasons Rory had always loved reading was that he felt an inescapable compulsion to know things. His curiosity was legendary, and faced with a man such as Gray, couldn’t have been more engaged even if he’d tried.

“How long have you lived here?” Rory asked, as Gray returned to his squash, carefully digging around a plant. “How did you come to be here? I have never seen this valley on a map before.”

Gray did not bother to meet his eyes as he responded, his tone short and hard. “I have been here many years. It’s a haven for those who are lost, a magical place not found on any maps.”

It did not make any sense at all for Sabrina to believe that the bandits stealing their supplies would hide in a magical valley for the lost. They might have little in the way of a moral compass, but they could hardly be lost.

“Are you lost then?” Rory asked.

Gray looked up then, eyes boring into Rory’s own. He said nothing for a long moment. “Aren’t we all lost?” he asked.

About the Author

A lifelong Oregonian, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband and their sweet kitten, Earl Grey. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to start a chapter of Keeping Durham Weird.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published thirteen novels and five short stories. Yours, Forever After is her first fantasy/fairytale re-telling.

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BOOK BLAST: “The Penetration Test” by Thursday Euclid & Clancy Nacht.

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Penetration Test: The Phisher King Book 3

Author: Thursday Euclid & Clancy Nacht

Publisher: Eine Kleine Press

Cover Artist: Clancy Nacht

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romantic Suspense

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers, workplace, forced intimacy

Themes: Transgender

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 83 000 words/316 pages

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Blurb

Sequel to Rainbow Award-winning gay romantic thriller The Phisher King and its sequel False Flag.

For years, brainy, charming FBI techie Sam Dupre has helped Hunter Walsh and Cal Riggs solve their cases. He’s also become one of Hunter’s closest friends, someone Hunter counts on when things get tough.

After the events of False Flag, Riggs is no longer the agency’s golden boy, so when Hunter suspects a gay couple has been murdered in a hate crime in an exclusive gated community in Olympia, he takes the tip to Sam instead. While Riggs and Hunter contend with workplace politics and Riggs’s recovery, Sam Dupre drives the case forward, even securing a partner for his undercover field work: handsome, popular recent transfer Rob Crawford.

Crawford’s a seasoned field agent who doesn’t bat an eye at posing as a gay married couple, but Sam can’t help feeling like Crawford’s mocking him. They rub each other in all the wrong ways in private even as they pretend to be a doting married couple in front of the neighbors…at least, until they start rubbing each other the right way.

Sam’s dysphoria-and his HIV status-has held him back, but as he bonds with Crawford, he starts to feel seen for who he truly is. Surrounded by mystery and danger, now is not the time to blur professional lines, but how can Sam help himself?

Featuring: An #ownvoices trans character feeling his oats, a dreamboat foreign terrorism agent trying his hand at a domestic (teehee) case, and a supercute adopted housecat. With a special appearance by Callum Riggs, excessive trolling by Hunter Walsh, and, of course, a happy ending!

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Excerpt

Meeting Crawford’s piercing green gaze, Sam steeled himself and said quietly, “We suspect religiously motivated White Nationalists could be involved. Whitewoods Olympia’s mission statement is one big conservative dog whistle for ‘old fashioned family values’ and my insider once toured the area looking for a home only to be given the cold shoulder when introducing a black family member to the mix. You may know Olympia is eighty-plus percent white with a two percent black population. Combined with its status as state capital and a cultural center, it’s an ideal location for racial purists to establish a religious enclave close to the seat of power.”

How Crawford took that news would speak volumes. Often the foreign terrorism agents didn’t take domestic terror as seriously, too wrapped up in their administration-sanctioned Islamophobia to acknowledge the clear and present danger of far-right extremists.

“Sounds like a case for Riggs.” Crawford sat back, brows furrowed again as if assessing the situation. Then he nodded seemingly to himself as if the pieces were coming together. Crawford was sufficiently political to understand why Riggs wouldn’t or couldn’t take the case right now.

“So you think someone in the enclave did away with the Millers? Sounds more like old fashioned neighbor murdering than domestic terror, but we do consult on cases of the murdered or the missing. Could just be some nutjob who somehow thinks queers in the neighborhood could lower property values.”

Sam bristled at Crawford using the word “queers” like it was his word to use. Sure, that was often how Sam described himself, but Crawford was a bro. He had no business using it. He bit back a keep that word out of your mouth and grunted instead, acknowledging the probability.

“Riggs is still recovering from the white nationalist attack from the group Weisse Drache, or I’m sure he’d be all over this. It’s definitely his wheelhouse.” Sam kept his voice as even and authoritative as he could, despite his urge to lash out. It was that self-control that had allowed him to climb so high in the Seattle office. “Even if it’s not White Nationalistic domestic terror—which I’m not theorizing; it’s what my anon suggested—it sounds very much like a hate crime. But…”

Sam trailed off, studying Crawford and doing his best to mask his irritation. Then he asked, “The other disappearances… What’s behind those?”

“Inconclusive.” Crawford stared, almost seeming to challenge Sam. “At least per the local PD. We could go in, see if we can draw some conclusions. If you really think it’s a hate crime, we could go in undercover. Either way, if we infiltrate the community, we can see what’s what.”

“We go in undercover,” Sam echoed, disbelieving. “We ‘infiltrate the community’.” Really, that was Crawford’s go-to?

After a beat, Sam grimaced, letting it all sink in. “That would be one way to access their information infrastructure and surveil the environs. The family is maintaining the house for the missing Millers, and from what I’ve heard they’d cooperate and let us use it as a base of operations for our efforts. You’ve got the green light to pursue this?”

“I was told to check it out, so that’s what I’m doing. Checking it out.” Crawford turned to his computer and put in his password along with the security dongle code. “Doesn’t need to be really deep cover. We could claim to be part of the family, housesitting, but make ourselves really at home. See what we can see.”

“Have you tapped someone to partner with you in the field?” Sam pulled out his phone, ready to plug in their third’s data, and looked up to meet Crawford’s eyes expectantly.

“We,” Crawford gestured between the two of them. “Can check this out. I really just need you there to give the appearance of a gay family. You can come in to work as usual if you need. The rest of my crew’s still in Turkey. It could take weeks to get another agent—if they’d assign another at all right now. By then, I may be off again.”

“You want to pretend we’re a gay couple?” Sam’s voice came out much squeakier than usual, and he cursed internally, hating how pubescent he sounded. “You want to replicate the Millers’ situation and see if there’s a bite?”

Technically Sam could do most of his work remotely, but pretending to adore Crawford was not a viable career choice. What the shit?

Then he thought of Hunter’s worried face, remembered how hollow Riggs seemed at Sunday dinner. They weren’t in any place to investigate this, even if Riggs could get the go-ahead, and the last thing Hunter needed was to be separated from Riggs right now. Or rather, the last thing Hunter needed was to go undercover himself, because he’d done enough of that, and Sam was over it, officially.

“Is that coffee done yet?” It sounded more plaintive than Sam had hoped, like he was in desperate need of caffeination, but he was. God, he really was.

“Sure.” Crawford turned and moved the press closer and pushed the plunger down steadily, big meaty hand on the top. “Listen, as a field agent who often works undercover, it’s not my first gay rodeo. Though, I’ll admit, it’s why I can’t just call just anybody in to help. You know, some people around here…”

Crawford leaned in as if taking Sam into his confidence, also implying that he was a cool kid somehow for not being squeamish about doing his job. “Particularly lately. We can just go in say we’re more or less housesitting until the Millers come back, leave it open ended but make ourselves at home, if you know what I mean. See what the mood is. If it’s nothing, we’ll just leave, no need to make a big deal of it until there’s something actionable.”

He pushed the finished coffee closer. “Sound like a plan?”

About the Authors

Thursday Euclid

The Thursday Euclid is a strange and elusive creature dwelling in the Texas Gulf Coast region. Frequently mistaken for Bigfoot, Chupacabra, or the monster of the week, he is, in fact, a 30-something black sheep with a penchant for K-pop, geekery, and hot and sour soup. When he’s not playing Dragon Age or SWTOR, he’s probably watching B-movies or talking to his best friend and frequent collaborator Clancy Nacht. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or email him at thursdayeuclid at gmail dot com.

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Clancy Nacht

Clancy Nacht is a bisexual genderqueer person who lives in Austin. Clancy has published several bestselling romances. Many of her books have been honored with Rainbow Awards; Le Jazz Hot won for Best Bisexual/Transgender Romance & Erotic Romance. In 2013, Black Gold: Double Black was a runner-up for a Rainbow Award. In 2015, Gemini won an Honorable Mention for Gay Erotic Romance and in 2016, Strange Times won an Honorable Mention for Science Fiction. Wyatt’s Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars was a finalist in the highly competitive William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance. The Phisher King won second place in the Rainbow Award for Romantic Suspense, 16th for Gay Book of the Year.

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Broken News” by Sara Dobie Bauer. Rafflecopter Giveaway included! See link below for entry:

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Broken News: M/M Mafia Romance

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Quin Perin

Release Date: August 22, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Romance, M/M Thriller

Trope/s: May/December (age gap), mafia

Themes: redemption, first love, sacrifice, age gap, hurt/comfort, prostitution

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 62 000 words

It is a standalone story.

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Blurb

He was supposed to hurt him. Ruin him. Instead, he fell in love.

In the big, bad city, Eric West holds the reins. A mafia king, he is feared, ruthless, and obsessed with a man half his age.

Will, his favorite whore, is young, beautiful, and the only person to ever bring him to his knees.

Will is a man to kill for.

A man to change for.

But what if Will isn’t what he seems?

*** Broken News is a standalone M/M romance featuring age gap, detailed adult content, violence, hurt/comfort, and mentions of rape/dubious consent.***

Excerpt

Miss Catherine paused. “He’s been waiting,” she whispered and walked away. The only evidence of her presence was the sound of velvet dragging on carpet as she disappeared barefoot, back to her other guests.

The rest was up to Eric. Of course he’d flown first class from London but hoped he didn’t smell too much like airplane upholstery and cheap wine. He straightened his tie and adjusted his suit. He ran the palms of his hands over his slick, blond hair and took one long, deep breath before opening the door.

The room was as he imagined, cast in shadows of firelight, and a man stood facing the front window. He had the edge of a heavy curtain raised as he stared into the city’s night. At the sound of the door closing, the man turned—if he could be considered a man. He more resembled a wide-eyed teen, but beautiful, so very beautiful.

Eric sighed, smiled, and shook his head. “My God,” he said.

Dark eyes appraised him. “I could say the same.”

They both took steps forward, which brought Eric’s new whore further into the orange light. Pressed to guess an age—and knowing Le Chateau only hired whores at least twenty-one or older—Eric guessed twenty-two at most. He wore the body and face of a youth but bearing of a confident man. His hair was black—short on the sides, long on top—and shined with the midnight luster of a thoroughbred’s flank. His eyes were shining, dark pools in the firelight but probably brown in the sun. He had high cheekbones, an angular jaw, and skin the color of untouched morning snow. Despite the poised demeanor, he was small in stature and frame, dressed in a black suit Eric imagined had been sewn for him, stitch by invisible stitch. Despite all the young man’s beautiful accouterments, it was his mouth that deserved worship, possibly idols built: a mouth so full, lush, and decadent, Eric was already half hard.

He stepped into the stranger’s space, towering almost a foot above the young whore, and opened the man’s suit coat. Eric ran his palms over slim sides and thumbed at the tops of jutting hipbones. Then, Eric bent forward with his mouth half open and sucked one wet, gentle kiss against the side of his neck. He smelled like spicy cologne and scotch.

“What’s your name?” He ran the tip of his nose over the stranger’s earlobe.

“Will,” he said.

“My name is Eric.”

“I know.”

Eric pulled back enough to see a small smile on Will’s face. His teeth were white and perfectly, perfectly straight.

“You must have cost a lot of money,” Eric said.

Will stepped forward and rubbed his nose across Eric’s carved chin. He practically breathed his response into Eric’s mouth: “And worth every penny.”

With that mouth so close, Eric was done talking. He slid one of his hands behind Will’s head and took hold to the back of his neck. His thumb was lost in soft black hair as he pulled Will even closer until their lips met. Eric moved slowly and savored the pliant softness. Will opened his mouth and allowed Eric’s tongue inside. Not only did he smell like scotch but tasted like it, too—something expensive with a lingering edge of vanilla. Eric’s other hand went to Will’s lower back and pressed their bodies together, which earned him a deep, delightful moan from his new toy.

About the Author

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, mental health speaker, and LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she lives in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the Bite Somebody series and Escape Trilogy, among other sexy things.

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Last Call in Wonderland” by Rob Browatzke.

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Last Call in Wonderland

Author: Rob Browatzke

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Release Date: August 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary gay fiction

Length: 62000 words/330 pages

It is a standalone story.

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Last Call Is Coming

Blurb

Wonderland is the hottest club in River City, but it’s time to close. It’s a different world now, and club owner Chester doesn’t see Wonderland having a place in it. What will that mean for resident bartender and hotty bottom Brandon Sweet? Or for headliner, the Queen of Hearts? Or customers like Jesse and Colton, whose open relationship and threeways are the stuff of legend? This group of friends navigate the changes in their lives until one night when everything changes for good.

Excerpt

Jesse Sterling liked dick.

There was no denying that. If there was a twelve-step program, he’d be standing there saying, “My name is Jesse Sterling and I’m a cockaholic,” and he would have been saying it proudly.

Jesse sucked his first dick at thirteen, and he was hooked. All those after school specials about drug dealers who gave new customers that first hit for free? That was Jesse with dick. He was hooked from the first time a guy’s hard dick touched his lips.

He liked all dick: big ones, small ones, cut ones, uncut, curved, straight. He even liked soft ones because he knew they wouldn’t stay that way for long. Not around him.

Through his teenage years, he got his hands (and mouth, and ass) on as much dick as possible. He got them out, got them hard, and got them off. Nothing made him as happy as discovering a new dick and what made them cum. Every dick was unique in how they liked to be stroked or sucked or ridden, but one thing they all had in common…. they were all beautiful.

Well, not all, he sometimes reminded himself. There’d been one that was just…just not good. That had been long ago though, and there’d been dozens of dicks since to wash the taste out of his mouth. Literally.

And then he had met Colton.

Colton Wainford was perhaps the only other man on earth who loved dick as much as Jesse. And Colton’s dick? Perfection. Perfect length. Perfect girth. Perfect rigidity. Simply, perfect.

That they had found each other, that of all the gay bars in all the world, they had walked into the same one on the same night, and paused to take in each other’s sculpted bodies before stumbling and tumbling into a bathroom stall to appreciate each other’s dicks, that was also pretty perfect.

That bar had been Wonderland, nearly a decade earlier, and that’s why, when Brandon texted with the news of pending closure, Jesse had thrown his phone onto the couch, and exclaimed loudly. “Fuck! That sucks dick!”

“What does? Who does?” Colton called from the bedroom. “And do I get some too?”

About the Author

Rob Browatzke has been writing for as long as he can remember, and is pretty darn excited for someone else to be reading his stuff finally! When it comes to gay bars and booze and drugs and drama, he knows what he’s talking about. He came out in the mid-90s, and liquor and drama went hand in hand. He has 20+ years of experience working in gay clubs in Edmonton, Alberta, and his current Wonderlounge is every bit as amazing as Alex’s Wonderland. Rob is now 8+ years clean and sober, although there’s still a bit of drama once in a while, for old times’ sake.

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Change of Plans” by Riley Long.

NEW RELEASE

Book Title: Change of Plans

Author: Riley Long

Publisher: Riley Long

Cover Artist: Marie Cole

Release Date: August 19, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: friends to lovers

Themes: forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 208 pages

It is a standalone story.

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Blurb

Even the best laid plans can go wrong…

Jared Costa is a touring backup dancer for one of pop music’s hottest up-and-comers. He’s also harboring a crush on his sexy-as-sin dance partner, Corey, who is tragically straight. Jared’s plan to make it through another month of the tour without acting on his desires should work, if he doesn’t let his hunger for Corey get the best of him. Once the tour is over, they will go their separate ways and Jared can put this foolish crush behind him for good.

Corey Miller put his same-sex attraction days behind him in college. Staying away from entanglements is the key to the big plans for his career and making a name for himself as a dancer. Or, that was the plan, until a game of beer pong ends in a kiss–with his luscious dance partner, Jared. Corey’s spun off center, unable to regain his balance. After their hot-as-hell kiss, he’s questioning if fame is all he wants, or if what he needs is something–or someone–else.

With both their plans crumbling, can they abandon those and devise a new plan? One that holds them together, instead of tearing them apart?

Excerpt

Jared paced backstage, only half-listening to the house music blaring overhead and the screaming of the impatient fans in the stands. Behind him, Ben and Zach from Addicted Fling were shit-talking one another. The guys who made up Addicted Fling were fine when they were offstage, but their pre-show bravado grated on Jared’s nerves. So did the band’s name, for that matter. It all seemed to scream “trying too hard,” but that was none of Jared’s business. At least the music wasn’t terrible. Jared spun to continue his pacing.

The stage manager was working his way towards Jared, Corey—the other backup dancer—close behind. Jared’s heart thudded. Corey was … well, he and Corey were friends—or at least, Corey would probably claim that—but if Jared had his way, they’d do so much more than dance. As a result of his unrequited crush on the straight guy, Jared tried to keep Corey at an arm’s length. It was hard—blond, muscular Corey was exactly Jared’s type, with deep-set green eyes and a face full of stubble. Jared wanted to be wrapped up in the man.

“Okay, Jay,” Neil began. “Tonight’s a big one.”

Jared stopped his pacing and nodded. “I know.”

Neil adjusted his headset and paused to listen carefully. “Three more songs and you’re up.”

Jared huffed out a little laugh. “Yeah, Neil, I know. We’ve been doing this for a month.”

“This one’s important, though,” Neil said, as if Jared needed a reminder. “There are a few recruiters watching tonight, so people are going to be paying attention. This could be the next step in your career.”

A lump formed in Jared’s throat. He didn’t know if dancing backup for various pop stars was what he wanted to do for the rest of his career. He really wanted to teach and choreograph. That didn’t mean he was going to screw up on purpose, but he certainly wasn’t trying to impress recruiters. He nodded. “Gotcha.”

“I’m serious, Jared. Dance like Gaga is watching.”

Corey barked a laugh and clapped a hand on Jared’s shoulder. “Or like her lead dancer is checking out your ass.”

Jared’s face flooded with heat. He never knew how to respond when Corey made an offhanded remark about sexuality—either of theirs. Jared fidgeted, working his hands into fists at his sides, and looked at his shoes, forcing a laugh.

A few minutes passed while Corey and Jared helped each other stretch before it was their turn to go on stage. When Neil gave the cue, they hurried to their mark on either side of the stage. Jared couldn’t tear his eyes away from Corey. He imagined Corey coming closer, pulling Jared into a kiss, and then he heard the music start up, forcing the stage back into focus.

Jared waited for his cue before rushing onstage, but he couldn’t stop watching Corey, and he stumbled a little, his heart pounding. He was acutely aware of the crowd. This was a sold-out show, one of the biggest he’d ever performed. Morgan, the pop singer he danced backup for, had gotten lucky with this tour, landing an opening gig for one of the biggest rock bands in the country, and—

“Cincy, how you doin’ tonight? My name is Morgan Palmer, and I am so excited to be here with you! Welcome to the Crushing Tour!” Morgan screamed into her mic as the song ended, cutting through Jared’s thoughts. The crowd went nuts, screaming back at her. She had won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people on this tour, and every night her songs worked their magic on a fresh batch of new potential fans. “Give it up for these beautiful boys, my dancers, Jared and Corey.” Once again, the crowd cheered. Jared sneaked a glance at Corey, his light skin shining with sweat under the hot lights already.

About the Author

Riley Long is a wife and mother living a quiet life in Virginia, with her husband, son, and two energetic pit bulls. She passes her evenings writing, reading, and watching bad television (or not so bad television). For fun, Riley participates in NaNoWriMo, GISH, and reads with her book club, the BAMFs. She likes things with silly acronyms. The craziest thing Riley has ever done involves whipped cream and hugs.

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Wanderlust” by Quin Perin. $10.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway included! See link below for entry:

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Wanderlust: Bundle

Author: Quin Perin

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Quin Perin

Release Date: August 13, 2019

Genre/s: M/M Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/Comfort, Out for You, Friends to Lovers

Length: 55 000 words/190 pages

Heat Rating: 3 flames

It is a standalone story with a HEA

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Blurb

Please check the warning section inside the book.

I knew all the regulars. I knew their drinks. Their complaints. I knew everything that went on in this little town. But they didn’t know me.

And I didn’t know him.

Momma always told me to be kind to others, so I didn’t even think twice when I invited him into my house, into my life, my heart.

I was happy being alone, until I wasn’t.

Little did I know that once you get a taste of happiness, nothing will ever taste the same. Especially when it is taken away.

***WANDERLUST is a slow burn romance, featuring hurt/comfort and friends-to-lovers elements as well as detailed adult m/m content

Excerpt

Juste

Every day here was the same. Al came to the bar at the same time, the same exhaustion clinging to his body. He sat on the same seat. Drank a shot and two beers. He asked how I was doing, not expecting a real answer, and then I asked how his family was, not expecting a real answer. He didn’t tell me that his daughter was struggling out in the city. Wouldn’t mention the rumors of her doing less than savory things for cash. He wouldn’t mention that boy of his, the trouble he’d gotten into. And he wouldn’t mention how Sally was really doing. Pale and weak. Growing frailer by the day.

Just like Sally wouldn’t say anything when she stopped by. She’d wear one of her good floral print dresses and a sun hat. Her blond, thinning hair tucked back in a low bun, and she’d have a basket slung over her arm. She’d smile at the men in the bar, her blue eyes bright despite the dark circles under them. Talk to her husband’s friends, sweet as pie and light as cotton. Then she’d come up to the bar and ask for a glass of water before promptly presenting me with several jars of jam.

Sometimes it felt like I was living in a TV show on repeat, the tape getting more and more worn out as it played over and over again. It had been like this ever since I came back to town fourteen years ago when my father got sick. No one had changed. Nothing had changed. Same songs on the jukebox. Same people wandering through life. Rare excitement. It was peaceful, and it was mind-numbingly dull at the same time.

Al finished his first beer, and I grabbed the bottle, tossing it in the trash before grabbing him another. My bottle opener came out of my pocket, and I slid it across to him. “I think I’m fixin’ to head up into town this next weekend,” I told him casually. My one escape was driving nearly two hours to the nearest big city every two or three months. Usually, I’d try to be helpful when I could. Pick up things that people needed and promised to pay me back for. They often didn’t, and I never brought it up.

With a nod, he leaned back on his stool and groaned. “I think we’re good on everythin’ right now, but I’ll ask the missus when I get home.”

I flashed him a smile before turning away to give him his peace. There wasn’t much to do in the bar. Al was my only customer at the moment, and it wasn’t likely to get much busier. On the weekends it was more lively. I’d play music, and some people would get drunk enough to dance. For now, though, it was the two of us.

I was kneeling below the bar when I heard the door open again, and I popped up, expecting a familiar face. It was not. The man who walked in the door was…a stranger. In the best possible way. Not like anyone I’d ever seen in a small town. Damn near took my breath away.

Light eyes, so light that it was hard to tell their color in the dimly lit room, glanced around with ease. One hand was hooked in the back pocket of a pair of faded jeans, the other holding onto the strap of a backpack that looked ready to burst. My stranger was tall. Bout as tall as me. Body sturdy. Shoulders wide. His complexion was darker than mine, darker than anyone else in the town. Not entirely black but more than tan. Soft and smooth with an almost golden glow. Black hair was curly, and there was several days growth of beard across a sharp jaw, but it did nothing to hide his full lips. If he’d been a bit cleaner, he would have looked like someone from the movies. As it was there was a couple days worth of dust on his clothes to match the beard. And his eyes drooped faintly. Like he’d been traveling a long time. Despite the way he looked, I recognized him. Recognized his skin. A hitchhiker. Going to somewhere or away from something.

Long limbs loose, like he had no cares in the world, he headed toward the bar, mine and Al’s eyes fixed on him as he lowered himself onto a stool a couple spaces over. His bag was set on the floor by his feet.

Those lips twitched into a crooked half-grin. “Howdy,” he said. His voice seemed to shake the room. Deep as thunder yet smooth as cream. It made the skin prickle on the back of my neck, warmth flushing through me.

“Well, hey there, stranger.” I didn’t know how I managed to find my voice, but I did, heading over to him and placing my hands on the counter in front of him. “What can I get ya?”

His tongue ran over his lips, and he looked around, at the small display of bottles behind me. “You don’t happen to have any food here, would ya?” he asked. “Didn’t see anywhere else open on my way through town.”

“Nah. No food here,” I admitted. “Just lots of drinks for whatever ails ya.”

A low chuckle and he shrugged his shoulders. “My empty stomach is ailin’ me right now. More than my thirst. You wouldn’t happen to know any place ‘round here that would be open?”

Shaking my head, I put on an apologetic smile. “Fraid not, everywhere closed up early,” I informed him. “Heck, it’s bout near my closing time too.” I usually shut everything up once Al was gone.

“Ah, all right.” His shoulders slumped faintly, but that easy smile didn’t fade from his lips. Poor fella was trying to be positive, but it couldn’t have been easy with an empty belly.

One thing that I had learned from my daddy that I took to heart was the need to help your fellow man. My daddy was a mean drunk, but he never hesitated to help someone who needed it. When he was sober, he could have given Jesus a run for his money. God rest his soul. People ‘round town liked to joke that I was like him because of that, which was fine by me. I wasn’t much likely to turn someone away if they needed a hot meal.

I tapped my fingers against the bar and shrugged my shoulders. “If you ain’t got nowhere to be, I’ll be closing in ‘bout thirty or so, and I’ve got a stew simmering at home,” I said. “If ya want.”

About the Authors

As a pair of genre rebels, Quin and Perin—from the US and Germany—are constantly maneuvering time zones and plot bunnies to whip up Gay Novels. Expect plenty of heat and elevated smut. With a dash of drama, a pinch of sweet, and a hefty amount of kink on the side, they serve up stories that will leave you full and satisfied.

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RELEASE BLITZ: “Release (Rent Boys 1)” by A. E. Ryecart. Rafflecopter Giveaway Included! See below link for entry. . .

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Release (Rent Boys #1)

Author: A E Ryecart

Publisher: Indie published

Cover Artist: Tammy Clarke

Release Date: August 9, 2019

Genre/s: contemporary MM romance

Trope/s: opposites attract, sex worker hero, class difference, found family, slow burn

Themes: salvation, redemption, attainment of a better/different/more fulfilled life

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 70 000 approx. words

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

When life holds them captive, can love be their release?

Blurb

Selling his body since he was a fifteen-year-old runaway, rent boy Sean Farrell has learned the hard lesson that the only way to survive the streets is to act tough and cocky. But an act is all it is, as underneath he’s never felt more adrift as he struggles with crippling self-doubt. Sean’s distilled life into three simple rules: earn enough cash to get by, stick close to the friends who have become his family — and don’t let anyone steal his heart.

Art is Laurie Cassell’s profession and passion. His calm and ordered life is just how he thinks he wants it, but it’s becoming harder to ignore the creeping feeling that calm and ordered has become dull and predictable. Laurie craves more but doesn’t know what, or not until a man with dark hazel eyes and a bad attitude swaggers into his life — and leaves with his heart.

Two men who should never have met, let alone fallen in love. Can Sean and Laurie release the other from lives that are holding them captive?

*** Release is a slow burn, opposites attract MM romance. Found family, good friends who give advice our men don’t want to hear, and the redemptive power of love can all be found between the pages. No cliffhanger, and a guaranteed HEA. ***

Excerpt

“Didn’t you hear what he said? He doesn’t want a drink. Are you fucking deaf as well as stupid?”

The words were out of Sean’s mouth before he could think. This wasn’t his fight, this wasn’t his problem. What am I getting myself into? But Sean knew why he hadn’t walked away. The drunk was a bully, and his hectoring voice had scratched down Sean’s spine like nails over a chalkboard. Sean moved in closer, narrowing the space between him and the drunk to no more than a hand’s width.

“Piss off. This hasn’t got anything to do with you.” The drunk made a good effort at standing his ground, but his voice had lost its edge. He was no longer so sure of himself, the ground beneath his feet no longer so stable.

Sean said nothing, offering only a grim smile. He knew what the drunk was seeing.

Tall and well built, and with his hair cut short and severe, Sean looked like a squaddie, a soldier off-duty for the night. Have you got the uniform? Have you got the fatigues? Words, and others like them, he’d had panted into his ear more than once. Sean watched as the drunk hesitated. Unexpectedly challenged, he deflated like a balloon stabbed with a pin.

The guy shrugged and walked off, banging his shoulder into Sean in a final show of defiance. Sean let him have his second or two of triumph; he was gone, and that was all that mattered.

A soft and cultured voice drifted out of the shadow.

“Thank you. You didn’t have to, but, thanks. I appreciate it. He didn’t seem to want to listen to me.” The added words were accompanied by a nervous, hesitant laugh.

Now that the drunk had gone, Sean focused his full attention on the guy.

Dark, heavy hair fell in a floppy fringe across his brow. Pushing it aside, the guy looked up.

Under the bar’s muted lights, Sean couldn’t determine the colour of his eyes, other than they were large, dark, and full of gratitude. There was a fine-boned delicacy about his clean-shaven face — no hint of designer stubble — and he was well, if conservatively, dressed. Late twenties, thirty at a push, Sean guessed, just a few years more than his own twenty-four.

“Are you waiting for friends or was that just a way of telling him,” Sean said, jabbing his thumb over his shoulder, “to take a hike?” He stared down at the guy, who looked as awkward and out of place in the overpriced, pretentious bar as he did.

The guy nodded, fiddling with the mixer stick in his glass, stirring the ice, and pushing down on what looked like a whole load of salad leaves.

“I am. This wasn’t my choice, but, well…” He screwed up his nose as he looked beyond Sean and into the bar.

Sean glanced behind him, surprised to see how in just a few minutes the crowd had swollen. He turned back to the guy and met his wry smile with one of his own.

“Yeah, well, this place was my choice, but I’ve gotta ask myself why.”

The guy laughed. “Everybody’s allowed one erroneous choice. It’s a friend’s birthday, and he wanted to come here, so I didn’t get a lot of say.”

“So where is he, then?”

“Late, as always, but I’m early. As always.”

About the Author

I love all kinds of MM romance and gay fiction, but I especially like contemporary stories. Born and raised in London, the city is part of my DNA so I like to set many of my stories in and around present-day London, providing the perfect metropolitan backdrop to all the main action. When I’m not writing at home, in the gym, in cafés – in fact any place I can find a good coffee – I can be found with my feet up thinking of more ways to put my men through the emotional wringer!

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Talking RoMMance… with a British accent

(This a shared group. The other UK authors are Jack L Pyke, Louise Mae, and Susan Mac Nicol)

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NEW RELEASE: “Alexis vs. the Afterlife” by Marcus Alexander Hart

I discovered a new author, Marcus Alexander Hart, and this is his first book in the world of LGBT Fiction. This man is kind, charming, and above all, funny!

“Alexis vs. the Afterlife” is an urban fantasy comedy, which features a lesbian protagonist. 

AUTHOR BIO

Marcus Alexander Hart is a novelist, karaoke star, and default awesome dude. His credits include Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place and Disney XD’s Lab Rats. Marcus has been a roller-derby skater, a real-life quidditch player, and an undercover water-gun assassin. He once won a long-distance road rally driving a fake ice cream truck.

Follow his adventures at OldPalMarcus.com.

BLURB

Alexis McRiott is a foul-mouthed guitar goddess with a passion for hair-metal and groupies of the fairer sex. You’d never recognize this strung-out Hollywood dirtbag as the squeaky-clean kid wizard she used to play on TV.

And that suits her just fine.

But when Alexis is killed in a freak accident, her sitcom past comes back to haunt her. On her first day as a ghost she destroys a rampaging poltergeist using a hex from her old show that, for some reason, actually works.

Impressed by her powers, a deceased medieval prince tries to recruit Alexis in his crusade against otherworldly evil, but she refuses to be his clichéd “chosen one” magical heroine. That is, until she meets his sister-in-arms—a smokin’ hot Chinese railroad worker duty-bound to protect the living from supernatural threats.

Pursued by soul-collecting reapers, this motley crew must stop a paranormal apocalypse that Alexis might have been kinda, sorta, completely responsible for unleashing. But can two dead lesbians and a seven-hundred-year-old tween save the world with sitcom magic?

They don’t stand a ghost of a chance.

 

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT

I slouch on a stool at the end of a dive bar, feeding a sticky tumbler of peach schnapps to tomorrow’s hangover. Lucky for me, nobody ever cards in this part of Hollywood. Or maybe I just look more burned out than any nineteen-year-old girl has a right to be.

A twee pop duo are ukulele-and-tambourining their way through their set on a stage behind me. The assembled drunks try their best to tune them out, but the singer’s piercing warble refuses to be ignored. Six acts are performing here tonight, each of us getting twenty-five bucks to show off our talents. Most are being grossly overpaid.

I shoot the rest of my drink and signal the bartender—a rough-edged minx with a shirt cut so low it could double as a tip jar. She shakes her head as she refills my glass. “You might wanna cut back a little, chica. Your bar tab is about to eclipse your gig payment.”

I shrug. “Eh. No money, no problems.”

She raises a pierced eyebrow. “Tell you what, how ’bout I hold onto a few bucks and grab a little something special for you?”

My heart races at her wry smile. Is she . . . flirting? Holy shit, she’s flirting! I sit up straighter and smile back. “A gift, eh? What do you have in mind?”

“Some deodorant. Girl, you smell rough.”

Not flirting. Definitely not flirting. But she’s actually talking to me, so I go for broke. “Well, you know what they say: Girls who smell rough feel the best on your muff.”

The bartender shakes her head. “Hard pass. I’m not into the whole ‘vagrant chic’ thing. Or vaginas. Or, you know, you.” Wow, straight and vicious. I can really pick a winner. “Besides, you already have a girlfriend.”

She nods at the empty stool beside me.

“Um, what?”

“Your date. Alexis.”

“I, uh . . . what?”

She leans over and points at my guitar propped against the next barstool. It’s an abused old Strat-type thing I stole from a yard sale when I was a kid. A previous owner slathered it in crappy yellow house paint which I’ve spent the past decade covering with stickers—bands I like, banana labels, poison warnings I picked off bathroom cleansers. One night, after a deep and introspective heart-to-heart with a bottle of Baileys, I thought it would be a good idea to scratch my name into it with a screwdriver. You know, so nobody would steal it. Deep black gouges in the wood now scream “ALEXIS.”

“Oh! No. I’m Alexis,” I say. “Alexis McRiott.”

“Why does that name sound familiar?” She sucks a breath and snaps her fingers. “Wait! You’re Sierra Specter!”

Just hearing the name tenses my shoulders and tightens my jaw.

“Uh, no. I’m Alexis McRiott.” I slide my finger along the scrapes in my guitar. “Say it with me now. A-lex-is.”

The bartender hoots and gives her hands a sharp clap. “Oh man! I can’t believe it. Come on, you gotta say it for me. Give me a ‘sheerio bluzdink!’

Heat bristles through my scabby cheeks as I look away and pick at my guitar’s strings. Apparently it isn’t enough for her to just shoot me down and step on my heart. She has to take a big steamy dump on me too.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I mutter.

“Yeah you do. Don’t lie. It was your catchphrase. You were that wizard kid on That’s My Boo.

I shrug. “Is that like, a TV show or something?”

“Ugh. Really? You gonna make me bring YouTube into this?”

She taps at her phone then holds the screen in front of my eyes, showing a video bootlegged off an old Whimsy Channel broadcast. Some kind of giant octopus-werewolf thing attacking a thirteen-year-old girl in a purple leather jacket. The kid throws out her hands and screams sheerio bluzdink, and the monster vanishes in a lavender flash.

The bartender holds the phone up next to my face. “The eyes are a dead giveaway. Purple? Come on. That’s you.”

I sigh. There’s no denying it. The kid on the screen and I have the same purple eyes. But besides that, I look nothing like her anymore. Her hair is in perfect blonde ringlets. Mine looks like it’s been used to mop up a gas station bathroom and then stuck out a car window to dry. Her round face is flawlessly camera-ready. My gaunt features are pitted with zits and acne scars. And I’ve long since traded that purple leather jacket for a few regrettable tattoos.

I shove her phone out of my face. “Fine. You got me. In a past life, one million years ago, I used to play a sorceress on a dumb kiddie sitcom. Does that earn me a free drink?”

“Uh, no. I think a big TV star can afford her own drinks. I bet those big Whimsy paychecks got you set up for life down in Malibu. Am I right? Or are you a Beverly Hills gutter punk?”

“Surfridge, actually.”

“Never heard of it. Westside?”

I sip my drink and nod. “It’s a very exclusive community.”

On stage, the twee boy solos on a vintage kazoo while the girl yodels like she doesn’t care if anyone’s listening. The bartender winces and scratches a note on a clipboard.

“Ugh. Jimmy & Sprinkles are officially on my blacklist.” She reaches for the TV hanging over the bar and mashes her thumb on the volume-up button in an attempt to drown them out.

“—unveiling of a new treasure at the Hayes Tower Casino.”

I squint up at the screen. The eleven o’clock news is on, showing some gala event at a Las Vegas casino full of priceless art treasures. So much bling. I feel it calling out to me. Begging me to steal it. My old court-appointed psychologist used to call this the impulse. He said it just like that. In italics. Like my kleptomania is an unspeakable parasite in my brain, forcing me to do evil things.

On the TV, camera flashes flicker against an old guy in a tuxedo. He whips a cover off a podium, revealing a ring with a gemstone the size of a golf ball. The light glints and dazzles off its surface like something Ryan Seacrest should be dropping over Times Square on New Year’s Eve. My guts simultaneously tighten and twist, wringing cold sweat from my pores.

The ring.

I shake my head. Don’t be an idiot. It isn’t the ring. It’s a ring. The ring is locked up somewhere in Nebraska. And so is the guy who gave it to you. It’s all ancient history, but my hand still trembles as I take a steadying swig of my drink.

“This dazzling gemstone has not made a public appearance since it was entered into evidence during the Simon Fax murder trial three years ago.”

I cough peach schnapps through my nose. It is the ring. The fuse on the bomb that blew That’s My Boo to smithereens. And I had been the one who lit it.

The TV drones on. “With the appeals process closed, the ring went up for public auction, where it was purchased by billionaire casino magnate Cooper Jackson Hayes for one-point-seven million dollars.”

I just stare, frozen. My drink dribbles down my chin and onto my tattered T-shirt.

One. Point. Seven. Million.

A thousand what-if scenarios explode through my mind. What if I hadn’t turned in the ring? What if I’d sold it? That thing would have bought enough studio time to record an album. To record ten albums! I could have bought back everything they took from me. And more. If I hadn’t run to the cops like a little bitch.

I clench my eyes and remind myself I did the right thing. There had been a very good reason to turn over that ring.

And there are one-point-seven million good reasons to have kept it.

The unfairness of it all pulls the pin on a rage grenade deep inside me, and I know there’s only one way to diffuse it. I shoot the rest of my drink, grab my guitar, and jump on stage with the manic pixie dream band. The girl stops mewling and gapes at me.

“Hey! We’re not done yet!”

“Yeah, you are.” I snatch her tambourine and fling it into the crowd like a Frisbee. She squeaks and runs after it, followed by her dainty boyfriend. I plug my busted-up guitar into the bar’s busted-up amp, releasing a piercing squeal of feedback.

“Hey, I’m Alexis. Doing the right thing sucks. Here’s a song.”

Fury surges from my fingers, through the guitar, and out into the world as I grind out the chords of my newest jam, “Champagne (Make it Rain).” My eyes close and the vocals rip through me.

 

You think you’ve got a good deal, then they tear off the seal.

You’re gonna reach the top, but then the cork goes pop.

You fall down, the bottle breaks. The party turns into heartache.

But I’m not gonna kill myself. Gonna climb right up to that top shelf.

Then I’m gonna make it rain.

Gonna turn my pain to champagne, champagne, champagne!

 

My set takes on a life of its own, a frenzied blur of noise and sweat and catharsis. I don’t think about what happened before or what happens next. I am here. I am now. My guitar is a shield against all the bullshit of the world, and as long as I keep playing I am safe.

No, I am invincible.

I become aware of barflies whistling and clapping and generally rocking out around me. No big shock. The manic screech of my guitar is a grease fire of ecstasy that scalds everyone in earshot. In this moment I’m not a has-been child star. I’m a goddamn metal goddess, living loud and kicking ass. High on music. High on life.

This high never lasts.

 

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